Shaktimaan has become an irrefutable part of the Indian lexicon ever since its tv show on DD National. Its whole franchise, including the animation series, as well as other merchandise was a superhit. And now, Sony TV, on 10th Feb 2022, has announced a Shaktimaan movie adaptation in the form of trilogy. Mukesh Khanna will essay the role of the producer. A notable actor will play the protagonist with his prodigious magical powers.

But the deeper question is this – will this silver screen adaptation pave the way for more Indian comic adaptations? Marvel and DC have created their own universes with characters from their comics in the west already. But is it now time for India to shine? Over the years, there have been some iconic characters in the Indian comic industry. From laymen like Supandi to superheroes Nagraj or Super Commando Dhruva. they charm us till this date. But unfortunately, they haven’t made it to the films. The culture of adaptation itself isn’t as prevalent in India as it is abroad, and most films are original stories rather than adaptations.

Shaktimaan Movie Adaptation And Future Of Indian Comic Adaptations:

Advantages

There are several advantages to this. First of all, the comics industry, which has been slacking for the past few years can be revived. As millennials continue to watch Indian superhero films, they might just be drawn to the original comics that inspired them. This will give a huge boost to the economy of the Indian comic industry. Plus, it will also make children of subsequent eras aware of the films and stories of bygone eras. This will also be a profitable venture for both the comics and the movies – the movies can make money off established characters and stories too. It is an easier venture for the producers and directors, because much of the original story is available. Films can thus visually supplement stories that people already love.

Disadvantages

However, there is no denying that there are some drawbacks too. First of all, it’s really hard to match up to the level of the comics itself. When adapting a literary work, you are overwriting the imagination of many readers, especially in the case of comics where visuals are inclusive in the text. So if course, it’s impossible to appease all of them. Secondly, when ready material is available for adaptation, it’s easy to slip into the vortex of imitation. Adding something original might face backlash but not adding anything might be considered as a pale mimicry of what already exists.

Shaktimaan Movie Adaptation And Future Of Indian Comic Adaptations
Shaktimaan Movie Adaptation And Future Of Indian Comic Adaptations

It is thus very difficult to treat carefully this thin line between originality, imitation and loyalty and justice to the work of art. It is also difficult to condense the whole material of the several volumes of comics or 8 years of long lasting television series into a three hour movie. This is why Shaktimaan is also planning on three movies, to do justice to the sheer amount of plot devices.

Conclusions

All in all, adapting comics or tv series is not easy. But it is also a fresh market available for our use. It is a territory that has not yet been charted in India, and is fresh terrain that should be explored. With Shaktimaan being one of the first movies to chart this territory and explore this terrain, our hopes are pinned on it. If it does do well, it will provide easy access – almost like a doorway – to further adaptations of the beloved comics of India, superhero or not.

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